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  #51  
Old 23rd July 2012, 16:31
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Originally Posted by Robert Macdonald View Post
If you were on Glory with Ken and Dale then you would have been with my good friend David Cauvin.

Dave fell foul of Parish and left after being C/O on Easter Ranger.
He then was Master on a South African ship running coal from Lourenco Marques tio Capetown. Dave was born in Capetown his father was Harbour Master there. He was aiming to settle there and was taking his Japanese wife Ayako there and she was in LM awaiting permision to take her to South Africa where Goverment had promised Dave she would be treated as an honourary white. Unfortunately the government reneged on rather petty grounds that Dave had become a British citizen when South Africa left the Commonwealth, he had done this because he had to be a British citizen to sit for his Masters ticket.

David and Ayako returned to Hongkong where David worked for a Yacht Consultants. David's ambuition was to sail the world and whilst getting the yacht ready Ayako was killed by a gas bottle exploding in yacht cabin. I saw David regularly in 197O-80s. Sadly he died of cancer at his sisters in Hobart in 1988.
What a small world it is. I have often wondered what happened to Dave Cauvin and now, thanks to you, I know. Dave and I sailed together on Blue Flue's Stentor to Aussie in 1956. He left at the end of the voyage to join the Mayflower for her Atlantic crossing. We met a few times when he was with Jardines and our ships were in port together, usually in Bangkok for some reason, but in time our paths diverged and we lost touch. Sad to see that he died so young. One thing, though, I'm sure that Dave told us that he had been born in the Seychelles. (Not important!) I'll attach a picture of us at a noon ceremony on the Stentor. Dave is on the extreme left and I am next to Fred Edwards on the extreme right. Sad to reflect that, with the possible exception of the young middy in the lineup, I am the last one standing.
Cheers, John
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  #52  
Old 23rd July 2012, 17:13
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Originally Posted by richardwakeley View Post
I "rescued" this book from one of the ship's I sailed on. Not "Hewsang", that was well before my time in ICSN.
What's in it ? Does that mean somewhere there is a first phrase ?
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  #53  
Old 23rd July 2012, 21:47
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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David Cauvin

Hank glad I was able to fill you in on David Cauvin. AS you say sad he had to die so young, unfortunately more than few of my old shipmates have gone the same, all too quickly taken by cancer.

I last saw Dave on Aug 1988 and had lunch with him, the next time in Hongkong I was there to join P&Os PENINSULAR BAY for a training trip to Kobe before going on to building of new ARAFURA in Kure, it was then I found out from my cousin Bob who knew David from HK Yacht Club that David had died.

I had presumed Dave was born in Capetown because his father had been Harbour Master at Capetown and he had done his pre sea training at General Botha.

The surname Cauvin came from French Huguenot origin.

Dave had wanted to join China Nav but Swires and Holts I believe had an agreement that Swire not snaffle ex Blue Funnel middys so he joined I-C. I believe this is why another pal of Dave’s Derek Smith joined I-C

Derek was Master in I-C when I left in 1969 but not heard where he went, I gather he was still on I-C Gearbulks ships late 1980s

Regards RGM
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  #54  
Old 23rd July 2012, 22:58
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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Nobody Heard the Death Sentence

Hank presumably you have read Richard Woodman’s excellent VOYAGE EAST about a voyage on a ficticious Blue Funnel China Boat.

There was a wonderful scene when they were approaching the berth and the Captain asks the Pilot what the long aluminium boxes were and pilot says they are containers.

The OOW on Bridge then mutter :”and no body mentioned the death sentence passed on us all.”

This stuck with me the rest of my days on E&A box boats.

We had an ex Blue Funnel lad in E&A Richard Johnson Richard been on Osaka Bay I remember. His father had also been in Blue Funnel and was a Melbourne pilot. Richard was C/O on ARAFURA when I commanded her last E&A voyage before she became CHITRAL and absorbed into P&O Containers.

Young Richard was a renowned lady killer and when he was C/O on Asian Jade he was having dinner with his parents in a Melbourne restaurant when he espied a fair maiden from the Deep South of USA. There was a passionate farewell on wharf next day after a presumably night of passion on the Jade

Next time I met Richard on Ariake I asked Richard what had become of the comely Daughter of the Confederacy that he was so obviously smitten with and he sheepishly admitted she was no Scarlett O’Hara or daughter of a Colonel Saunders but in reality a hooker from Atlanta having a holiday in Melbourne.

Richard left E&A but came back as relieving C/O on new ARAFURA on her final voyage before being handed over to Maersk

Woodman’s book VOYAGE EAST was one of my favourites about sea life. The other favorite was Derek Robert’s THAT’S THE LIFE FOR ME about a young man in ficticious shipping company who then sits for Second Mate in mid 1950s London and does the rounds of barely disguised shipping companies job hunting. Highly hilarious, sadly its not around anymore.

Derek Robert and I had been in P&O in mid 1950s and both moved to Australian coast passenger liners, he to the DUNTROON and I to KANIMBLA. Sadly the KANIMBLA was about to be sold and the Mate there who had been on I-C on the EASTERN STAR recommended I-C so of I went and by luck my first ship was the beloved STAR my favorite ship.

Regards RGM
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  #55  
Old 23rd July 2012, 23:49
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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The case of the Mystery Letter

Mike I presume Terry Nichols never told you about the affair of The Mystery Letter.

East bound on Eastern Muse in Aug 1964 the 2/0 Eric Edmondson caught the Chief Steward flogging stores in Penang. Nothing was said till Eric was taken off in Hongkong and Terry muttered something about a letter by Eric complaining about food.

I questioned the Chief Steward about it and he said I would be off the ship before he was, Next day I was indeed off and sent to HO SANG as Mate.

Back in Hongkong I took it up with Jock Stormont who was relieving Parish at time prior to going to London Office of Mathesons. I asked to see the letter and had a heated exchange where upon Stormont asked if I thought I was Jesus Christ to which I retorted he presumably was God Almighty. He then fired me and I left the ship.

A couple of days later I went to say goodbye to George Lawson and said I presume he knew about why I was fired. It appeared not and he sent for Stormont and demanded the letter and Stormont sheepishly admitted there was no letter. I then waited outside while Lawson tore a strip off Stormont.

Lawson talked me into staying and I went off on Eastern Argosy as 2/O and then leave and a spell on RAN Frigate, a happy ship run like McHale’s Navy which washed away the recent trauma. We had a hilarious show the flag cruise to Adelaide and Spencer Gulf which was like something out of John Winton’s hilarious books about Royal Navy. Captain a mighty drinker survived to become Hydrographer of the Navy with rank of Captain despite their Lordships sending him at one time to command a squadron of survey ships in West Indies. The First Lieutenant was the most efficient Naval officer I ever knew and I would have bet my shirt he would make Admiral. He became a Captain [D] but somewhere along the way must have pissed in someone’s soup because he never made Flag Rank.

Stormont went to London. Eric Edmonson left and joining various HK outside companies. I met him later 1976 when I relieved him as Master of HONKONG PHOENIX a box boat on trans Pacific run. Eric had also been sailing there with Steve Sampson who had been in I-C very early 1960s. Last I heard of Eric he was still in Hongkong as Secretary of HK Officers Guild.

Phil Hammond was 3/O at time, later sailed with him on EASTER ROVER. Saw him again when I was doing a Bridge Resource Management course at Sydney Tech, he was then an Adelaide Pilot. Saw him a couple of times when he piloted E&A box boats in to Adelaide.

Regards RGM

Last edited by Robert Macdonald; 24th July 2012 at 07:01..
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  #56  
Old 24th July 2012, 03:28
garry Norton garry Norton is offline  
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Hugh re Lee Kwan Yo
1 It could well have been the same person as he was quite a lot older than myself. We used to call him Victor.
I thought he was ex Chinese Navy. Did not recognize him from your photos.
2 You might be pulling my leg.
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  #57  
Old 24th July 2012, 03:34
garry Norton garry Norton is offline  
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Robert
I missed all the fun as I never went near Hong Kong Office, I spent my time ship keeping as the C/O and 2/O ( Nick and David) had family ashore. When I went up for mates I was ashore only 2 weeks, the 1st week I sat mates and failed signals and the next week they arranged for me to sit it again and passed and the same day I left on Eastern Saga. The Captain had a cat who loved to spit at me on the chart table.
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  #58  
Old 24th July 2012, 05:44
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Derek was Master on quite a few of my ICSN trips. Probably everyone's favourite Captain in the company. I have a crewlist from 1985 when we were on the Gearbulker "Falcon Arrow". He was Jardines' senior Master when he retired and fired the noon gun at Causeway Bay. Forgot what year he left.
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  #59  
Old 24th July 2012, 07:55
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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Captain Ray Bennett

Richard did you - perchance know Ray Bennet who was with I-C about time you were there. He sailed on some Gearbuklks ships but latterly mostly tankers.

He left I-C a few years ago and is now back in NZ as Master on a coastal tanker.

He was C/O on Hongkong Phoenix when I was Master ther in 1976 and he relieved me for leave after which he went to UK and worked for a while with Shell. I still keep in touch with him.

Garry you too may know him as he was Master in USSCO pre 1976, he would have been about 30 then

Regards RGM
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  #60  
Old 24th July 2012, 08:00
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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Snowbow Videos DVDs

I was ruminating on my note to Hank about the remark in Woodman’s Book re containers being the “ a death sentence to us all” when I remembered the Great Liners series of DVDs by Snowbow Production. This wonderful series brings back the great fleets and companies in Merchant Navy hey days of 1950-60s.

Des Cox who produces the series was a Purser in NZS and remember writing to Des and telling him of Woodman’s remark. Des said when he was on the first pure NZS reefer ship the REMUERA [ later to become the elegant Remuera Bay] it had struck him whilst watching reefer being loaded from rail trucks how more efficient it would be if the cargo came in a box and then loaded into hold. Des suggested this to powers that be in London only to be told rather bluntly his suggestion was not practical.

I vaguely remember an article in Shipping Magazine now defunct recalling a discussion over merits of containerisation and a Marine Super saying ‘dinna fash yourself laddie it will never catch on” .

Containerisation was in away the death of life at sea as a career changing it into an existence rather than a career. We were fortunately lucky to hold onto that old way of life in E&A till old ARAFURA went in 1990

I remember P&O agent in Brisbane recalling the Master of a Japanese container ship bitterly complaining there weren’t even enough for the traditional game of GO on an evening with people either working, on watch, or sleeping .

Snowbow’s website is at www.snowbow.co.uk/ and well worth a look especially those who haven’t seen it.
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  #61  
Old 24th July 2012, 09:01
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Originally Posted by garry Norton View Post
Robert
I missed all the fun as I never went near Hong Kong Office, I spent my time ship keeping as the C/O and 2/O ( Nick and David) had family ashore. When I went up for mates I was ashore only 2 weeks, the 1st week I sat mates and failed signals and the next week they arranged for me to sit it again and passed and the same day I left on Eastern Saga. The Captain had a cat who loved to spit at me on the chart table.
I remember that some master or c/e had a Burmese cat that some pal ashore had given him that was completely bonkers. Favourite trick was to go apeshit on stations, flying around the pilot and everyone like greased lighting only stopping dead on top of the bridge wing capping, spinning round and repeating all again. Invariably some tricky manoeuvre would be in progress so it was a challenge of concentration. It's other pastime was to lie along the top of the wheelhouse/chartroom door and swipe along the head of anyone passing beneath with full extended claws !

Robert, no Terry didn't mention the letter, the remark about you being off the ship first by the ch.stwd was ominous. As H.K was run on graft I suppose it was not surprising that minions in the Great House were into it as well and as for ch. stwds flogging stores ashore, shock, horror who would think they would do such a thing I served my time on a Cardiff tramp so watching sacks full of food disappearing down the gangway at night was something I thought happened on all ships !

regards
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  #62  
Old 24th July 2012, 09:27
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G'day Robert,

I remember the name Ray Bennet but don't think I sailed with him. In my first few years with ICSN used to meet a lot of people in HK when passing through to and from ships, especially at the Red Lion in Ashley Road. During my time 1983-1997 I sailed with quite a few ex Union Co. people in Jardines. Including a lady who I believe was the first Kiwi woman to pass Masters FG and the first to command an FG ship.

Richard
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  #63  
Old 24th July 2012, 15:03
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Hi Robert, I have indeed read and thoroughly enjoyed Richard Woodman's book, albeit that it was about an era slightly after mine. And I'll keep an eye out for 'That's the life for me' jn the second hand bookshops. Sounds good.
A lot of other names in your posts ring a vague bell, too. Blue Flue started a scheme of seconding people ashore for a year to join their 'Operational Research' department, looking at ways and means of modernising the fleet. I joined in 1965. At the end of my time they were becoming more concerned than ever about the future of cargo handling so instead of returning to sea I joined the new 'Cargo Handling Department' along with Dick Denning. Various other sea staff were recruited as time went by. I never did get back to sea again but I did live through the era of containerisation from the 'will it work? ' stage to the full up and running stage. A fascinating time. As part of it, when it was decided to containerise the Far East trade I transferred to OCL as operational development manager. I stayed there in various guises until I retired from P&OCL in 1990. In the early days Swires sent a couple of lads over to learn from us (the blind leading the blind, methinks). I think Peter Roberts was first and Rogan Mclelland later. It was at that time that I was remotely involved in the the first Arafura/Ariake, but I'm afraid that so much happened in the intervening years that I can't recall exactly what the involvement was. I know that in the 70s I probably spent more time flying around the Far East - with occasional forays to Aussie and Kiwiland - than I did in UK, particularly on terminal developments, including setting up and running the Kaohsiung terminal on behalf of the Trio lines. It was all good stuff, starting with a blank sheet of paper and then persuading people to operate your dream. Incidentally, I seem to recall that Kanimbla was the first ship to use the White Bay terminal in Sydney, but, if not, it was a name something like that.

You've stirred up a lot of happy memories, for which many thanks.
Cheers, John
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  #64  
Old 24th July 2012, 18:25
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Originally Posted by garry Norton View Post
Hugh re Lee Kwan Yo
1 It could well have been the same person as he was quite a lot older than myself. We used to call him Victor.
I thought he was ex Chinese Navy. Did not recognize him from your photos.
2 You might be pulling my leg.
No, Garry, no leg pull: that's him on the left in the photo, and that was his first trip to sea as a middy in the maiden voyage Stentor1946/47.
The last I heard of him he had been 4th mate in the Glengarry.
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  #65  
Old 24th July 2012, 20:43
garry Norton garry Norton is offline  
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Thanks Hugh.
He married a girl from Sydney quite a lot younger than him.He probably settled there.
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  #66  
Old 24th July 2012, 21:41
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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Kanimbla / Arafura

Hank glad I was able to rekindle some memories for you of days gone by and shipmates. Thanks for telling be your side of containerisation.

The KANIMBLA you saw at White Bay was McIlwraith’s venture into box boats along with MANOORA. The KANIMBLA I served on was a passenger ship. She was sold to Japan and sailed as ORIENTAL QUEEN for a short while. She was a very happy and much loved ship.

The first ARAFURA as you probably know was a very elegant ship, very fast and at 26 knots had a nice trophy for fastest voyage Australia Japan trade. I sailed on her as 2/0, C/O and 2 trips as Relieving Master on her last trip before she was renamed CHITRAL and went over to P&O Containers. My favourite ship in E&A and a very happy ship.

I was slated to be C/O on new ARAFURA but E& A then suddenly lost management of ASIAN JADE so I and Master I had relieved on ARAFURA had to step down a rank.

Being engaged in shore side on containerisation you will appreciate a tale of chaos from USA. We used Kerr Steamships berth in Seattle when I was on Hongkong Phoenix and I became friends with their ops manager. Apparently some film was to be made at the terminal with a cops and robbers type car chase, the stacks were arranged for the next incoming ship but the film director didn’t like the colour décor and persuaded the shift supervisor to rearrange the boxes. The scene was duly shot but somebody forgot to tell the day shift to put boxes back in original places and before it was discovered export boxes were off to all over USA instead of Far East, incoming boxes stacked in terminal awaiting pick up were Japan bound. Lots of red faces. Unfortunately cant remember film title.

The container lines spent much money on Logos on their boxes. Pal of mine was Mate on ANDROS which ran Australia-Far east including Bangkok under name of Jumbo Line. They had blue elephant logo on the boxes and a large white elephant on ships side and on House Flag, apparently Management was unaware of the symbolism of the White Elephant in Thailand

Regards RGM
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  #67  
Old 24th July 2012, 23:05
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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Show Down at OK Corral

Richard your mention of the venerable Red Lion brought back some memories for me of watering holes in Far East. A onetime shipmate of mine who had served his time in Ben Line admitted to me that he never had got further than the Red Lion in Hongkong
!! The Ship Inn and Waltzing Matilda were also in vogue in early 1960s.

There is a wonderful tale of the Oxford Don [Ken Millar] when I think he was on Eastern Ranger on Calcutta run of a wild night in the renowned OK Corral on the Barbary Coast just outside the wharf gate in Bangkok. The Don was having a drink upstairs in the OK when the Maersk Vikings ran riot as was their wont , the Don climbed on a table and called for quiet in his immicable style whereupon a very drunk Viking asked him who the hell did he think he was. The Don calmly felled the Viking with a chair and the riot subsided. A Yank was heard to say – You have to give it to the Limeys they are real cool at times like these.

There is a fabulous book SAILORTOWN by Stan Hugill about watering holes in great age of sail. I love his description of the Fierce Grizzly on San Franciso’s Barbary Coast where the evening show was bestial. On the South American run I found Santos little changed from Hugill’s days. The girls from Ipanema certainly outshone the Kowloon princesses. We used to call at a port in south Brasil called San Franciso du Sol the small town resemble something out of a spaghetti western but came alive at night. Most of the young males there had gone to the big cities looking for work so the place was awash with comely females. The agent a Dutchman who had settle in this earthly paradise took us out on town for a night as it was my birtday.
We had settled in for a good celebration helped by a case of Bacardi the Chief Steward had lugged along when our worthy Liverpudlian Chief cut short our celebration by passing out under the table. Alf was a seasoned drinker so I wondered why but our 2/E who was in fact I-C, Colin Meads I think was his name, told me he and Alf had consumed had a dozen bottles of red prior to venturing ashore.

Even in the short stays in port the Maersk Vikings were formidable drinkers. We were at Kwai Chung terminal in HongKong on new ARAFURA berthed between a Maersk and Sealand ships. The Master and C/O went up to local Flying Angel to make phone calls home but got swept up in a wild celebration of the Maersk Captain’s birthday as did Master of Sealand ship. Master and C/O returned in early hours more than a few sheets in wind and we sailed at 0600 and they had mighty sore heads. The Sealand ships were dry and we later found out the Sealand Master had been fired as one of their offices spies had reported on his misadventure.

I remember reading that Jardines senior staff in Singapore/Malaysia had setup the best whorehouse in Asia in Pnom Penh in Cambodia at height of Vietnam War. Much like those in Saigon when prewar it was the Paris of the East. The Pnom Penh bordello had a French madam and had purely a clientele of diplomats, military brass and business tycoons. I doubt it survived the Khemer Rouge.

Regards RGM
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  #68  
Old 24th July 2012, 23:37
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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Stone the Crow and God Almighty

When Queeg Parish retired he went to Australia and joined CSR on their chemical tankers which they managed for Silver Lines and also on their sugar/gypsum ship.
According to an E&A shipmate who sailed with him there the MUA worthies called him Mudguard [shiny on top but full of **** underneath] he had been a copper in Palestine prior to going to sea pre war. The Irgun sadly let us down as one cynic said.
Just prior to his retirement Parish oversaw the building of CSR’s new ship KOWULKA in Korea.

KOWULKA was Aboriginal for black crow but in Korea a black crow was an omen of death. Nobody had told the shipyard of this however.

Come christening day just as the lady sponsor was about to swing the champagne bottle a Shipyard exec asked of CSR manager what KOWULKA was. They reply Black Crow brought a hushed silence, And no doubt the Koreans were pleased to see this harbinger of death gone before the shipyard was cursed. No doubt the shamans were brought in to chase away evil spirits.

E&A’s 1990 building on ARAFURA in IHI Kure was the fourth ship of that name in E&A. The Chinese crew of old ARAFURA had pleaded with management for another name as a fourth ship of that name was deemed bad luck but ARAFURA it was to be.

Come christening day just as the good lady sponsor, the Dutch wife of P&O Containers exec was to swing the champagne bottle and announce I name this ship ARAFURA in a very gutteral accent, there was an god almighty clap of thunder followed by a torrential downpour which drenched the doves in a basket about to be released. No Chinese were at the ceremony or they would have cited very bad joss. There was much clenching of teeth and hissing by the IHI brass who no doubt were happy to see the Gaijins from the Great South Land depart with their cursed ship the next day. The ARAFURA actually had an uneventful career much like her predecessors. The Chinese crew survived only a few voyages before being replaced by Phillipinos when she ran under P&O-Swire Containers name so it was bad joss for them, many whom had spent many years with E&A

Regards RGM
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  #69  
Old 25th July 2012, 00:43
garry Norton garry Norton is offline  
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Hi Robert
Did not come across Roy Bennet in USSCO.
Talking about CH/Stewarts the one on the World Cliff got $3 a day to feed us, $2 for his pocket and $1 for food. I joined the ship at 13stone and left it at 9 stone.
When my wife joined the ship she went ashore when possible to buy foe for us.
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  #70  
Old 25th July 2012, 02:06
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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Chiefr Stewards

Garry as Mike mentioned stores going overside and hanky panky by Chief Stewards was fairly common. I later sailed with the Chief Steward I had crossed when I did a trip as C/O on EASTERN STAR , did a roaring trade smuggling cigarettes into CEBU.

There was a delightful scene in the movie THE CAPTAIN”S TABLE which was set on ORSOVA where the Captain and Chief Officer are leaning on the Boat Deck rail and Captain suddenly sees a long line of sides of beef going down the gangway into a lorry.

A P&O shipmate of mine who had a distinguished career in P&O including commanding the CANBERRA came to an untimely end when on ORONSAY he copped the Pursering Mafia flogging stores on a West Indies Cruise. It was he rather than the mafia who got fired.

Whilst the food in Grey Funnel line was reasonable there were comic times. One day in Sydney on a frigate the First Lieutenant normally a pleasant but super efficient type rose after a hectic wardroom party and with a bear with a sore head asked for breakfast where upon he was presented with some very cold spaghetti. He promptly put the Cook on defaulters. As I was Officer of Day I had ,trying to keep a straight face, to charge the cook – with wilfully destroying Admiralty property namely 1 tin of spaghetti. I tossed the ball back to Number One placing the cook on First Lieutenants defaulters List. Can’t remember what the cook’s ultimate penalty was. Hanging and flogging no longer being available

Last edited by Robert Macdonald; 25th July 2012 at 23:06..
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  #71  
Old 27th July 2012, 00:55
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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Tales of The South China Sea

I wonder whether any body had heard of monty pythonesque tale of wartime Hongkong during its occupation. I heard it on an I-C ship and it concerned the Manager of the Yokohamam Agents Senwa Shipping Captain Ikeda. Ikeda was an old fashioned Japanese gent who had by chance served on Japanese ships that had British Masters and Chief Engineers which I gather was quite common in that era and Ikeda was an Anglophile.

He always used to pop on board for a chat and a few pegs when we were in Yokohama.

When the Imperial Army occupied occupied Hongkong they ran the port as they had a some what prickly relationship with the Imperial Navy.

Ikeda was despatched by the Emperor to sort out the hash the Army were making of it. Ikeda found the sons of the Samurai in the Army were strong in the arm they were to put it mildly thick in the head.

Somebody mention to Ikeda that the entire staff of Marine Department were incarcerated in the prison at Stanley. Ikeda somehow got them released during the day and back on the job and soon the port was going gangbusters.

The Commanding General was much lauded for turnround but some how the news got back to Tokyo as to how this miracle had happened and old Ikeda was ordered back to Japan for re-education. The General as Takashi Sakai served as Japanese Governor of Hong Kong until 20 February 1942. He was recalled to Japan, and retired from active service in 1943. After the end of the war, Sakai was accused of war crimes at the Chinese War Crimes Military Tribunal of the Ministry of National Defense in Nanking, and sentenced to death on 27 August 1946. Sakai was executed by firing squad on 30 September.

Regads RGM

Last edited by Robert Macdonald; 27th July 2012 at 08:32..
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  #72  
Old 27th July 2012, 01:10
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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The Leavuing of Liverpool and The Sandon Lion

Hank as an old China Boat man I guess you would have been sadden when last of Holt brothers died I think just after they had decided to get out of shipping and hev only got sparse few lines of eulogy in Liverpool papers.

In view of the greatness Holts had brought to Liverpool to me this was scandalous. Liverpool had thrived on the slave trade which had actually made several shipping fortunes – to me Holts gave Liverpool respectability.

My ties to Liverpool were brief but bring back happy memories indeed. I had gone back to UK in 1962 with an eye to sitting Masters and I did a spell with Cunard to make a bit of cash to see me through.

I joined one of Cunard’s brigs on the Mediterranean run the PHRYGIA a nice little ship and very happy. The Master was known as Neddy of the Meddy and had been defrocked for some unknown offence on liners and sent to the brigs, the Management considered the brigs penal ships but people loved them. Neddy’s rig of the day usually was cardigan, flannel trousers and carpet slippers. His brother was master of one of the Isle of Man Ferries so when one hove into view Neddy done his refer jacket and brass had an solemnly waved to his brother.

The crew were mostly all Scouse and best crew I sailed with, we had a reliving AB from London once who passed some smart remark at me outside the galley where upon the cook swatted him with a frying pan and said that’s for making disparaging remarks about our Scots brethren .

We used to berth in Liverpool at Sandon Dock and the Bosun’s Mate Ronnie was the son of the Publican of the Sandon Lion just outside the dock gate. The Sandon Lion was the only pub in Liverpool that cashed Cunard cheques.

Come sailing night you always new the crew were on route back to ship starting with a rousing chorus of Maggie May then You Will Never Walk Alone and Leaving of Liverpool.

In the Meddy the crew partook of the great variety of booze. Ouzo was the great favourite and in Kataklon in Greece near the site of ancient Olympia where we used to do a Mediterranean moor that come daybreak the crew would be hanging like bats on mooring lines from a night of Ouzo.

Did an extended trip on ALAUNIA to US where our west bound cargo was 100% booze from Le Harve and Glasgow.

Did a few weeks at Sir John Cass studying for Master but didn’t particularly like their style and also has a break up with girlfriend de jour so hotfooted it back to Sydney and warmer climes. The Head of Sydney Tech Navigation school was a gifted instructor by far the best I ever studied with. He had been with Cunard during the war and had actually been one of the OOWs when the Queen Mary ran down the cruiser HMS Curacao.

After passing Masters I returned I-C. Apart from Huskisson Dock used for box boats I think most of the old Liverpool Dock are vastly changed. The old Sandon Lion I am pretty sure is gone.

I remember we had a Chinese sailor member on Easter Argosy in 1953who had actually been brought up in Liverpool and a broad Scouse accent.

My very last time in Liverpool remember a party where Andy our Chippy with the broadest Glaswegian accent was trying to chat up a Liverpool Judy with her broad Scouse, would have made a good Billy Connolly or Monty Python skit if one hasd a video camera

Regards RGM
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Old 28th July 2012, 16:04
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Hank Hank is offline  
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Robert, Sorry about the tardy response. I'm having trouble with my phone line which means that I can only connect to the internet for a few minutes at a time before it cuts out. I'm assured that it will be fixed - but when?
Not sure which Holt brother you are talking about. The last well known Holt was Lawrence and he crossed the bar about fifty years ago. I'm afraid that your average Scouser would no longer know the Holts from Adam, in fact most of them have never heard of Blue Funnel unless they are 'oldies'. Sad, but that's the way life goes. A Holyhead friend of mine went to a Blue Flue reunion recently and on the way to the hotel from the station he mentioned to the taxi driver that he was ex-Blue Funnel and was met by an entirely uncomprehending look.
There is a large community of Scouse Chinese in Liverpool - been there for quite a while. When we coasted the ships in the old days the catering department was usually Scouse Chinese, and one or two used to sail deep sea with the 'pukka' Chinese crew.
I'll get this off before I'm cut off again.

Cheers, John
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Old 28th July 2012, 20:03
Robert Macdonald Robert Macdonald is offline  
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Last Holt

Hank think the Holt I was referring to may have been George Holt who was Lawrence's nephew, the newspaper obituary I am sure was early 1980's.

AS you say mention of Blue Funnel these days wold only get bank looks.

THe vast British public would also be in ignorance of fact that despite their flash new cattle carriers CUNARD and P&O are in fact America owned by CARNIVAL.

Thanks for info Scouse Chinese didn't realise there were so many there, will have too look up Stan Hugill's "Sailor Town" and see what he has to say.

Ancesters pop up in strangest places. The Chief Engineer on Arafura asked me one day if I knew about a tribe of Macdonalds in Montana.Apparrently a descendent of a Macdonald who had escaped the Glencoe massacre had gone to Canada and worked for Hudon Bay Company and Managed the trading post at Missoula. He married a Blackfoot Indian Chiefs daughter and by now there are quite a few thousand Native American McDonalds. His newphew Ranald aslo married another Chief's daughter. Ranald got shipwrecked in Japan and wound up at the Shogun's court teaching his courtiers English.

rgards RGM
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Old 29th July 2012, 08:39
DURANGO DURANGO is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Macdonald View Post
Hank think the Holt I was referring to may have been George Holt who was Lawrence's nephew, the newspaper obituary I am sure was early 1980's.

AS you say mention of Blue Funnel these days wold only get bank looks.

THe vast British public would also be in ignorance of fact that despite their flash new cattle carriers CUNARD and P&O are in fact America owned by CARNIVAL.

Thanks for info Scouse Chinese didn't realise there were so many there, will have too look up Stan Hugill's "Sailor Town" and see what he has to say.

Ancesters pop up in strangest places. The Chief Engineer on Arafura asked me one day if I knew about a tribe of Macdonalds in Montana.Apparrently a descendent of a Macdonald who had escaped the Glencoe massacre had gone to Canada and worked for Hudon Bay Company and Managed the trading post at Missoula. He married a Blackfoot Indian Chiefs daughter and by now there are quite a few thousand Native American McDonalds. His newphew Ranald aslo married another Chief's daughter. Ranald got shipwrecked in Japan and wound up at the Shogun's court teaching his courtiers English.

rgards RGM
I have realy enjoyed this thread and strange as it seems we dont always get blank stares when we mention the great Blue funnel line most of the time I admit we do , just over 4 years ago I started to have trouble with my knee and was admitted to hospital to have the cartlidge washed out in the day stay unit at my local hospital , as I was being wheeled in to the operating theater waiting area to have the needle the male nurse noticed a tattoo of a sailing ship on my arm he asked me if I had been to sea I thought he was just talking to me just to keep me calm before the needle, I told him I had he the asked me what ship,s I had been in I started to mention the different companys I had sailed with when I mentiond the Blue funnel line he said "I was with them" and then he started to reel of all the names of the different Blueys he had sailed in four or five at least , there is no way he would have come out with those names if he had no knowledge of the company I was only in his company a few minutes before I had the jab I never saw him again by the time I had woken up from the op he had gone off shift he was in his early 60,s I reckon, strange old world as I say I really enjoy your tales of the far east best regards Dave
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